March 27, 2008

Politics as War

The Human Rights Impact and Causes of Post-Election Violence in Rivers State, Nigeria

Summary
Methodology
Recommendations
To the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
To the Joint Task Force
To the Rivers State Government
To The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
To the Nigerian Police
To Nigeria's Foreign Partners
Background: Root Causes of Violence in Rivers State
Politics and Violence in Rivers State
The 2003 Elections and the Rise of Gang Violence in Rivers State
2003-2007: Proliferation of Gangs and Violence
Box 1: A Gang Leader Denounces his Former Sponsor
The 2007 Polls and Their Aftermath: History Repeats Itself
"Militants," Cults, and Gangs in Rivers State
Immediate Causes of the July and August 2007 Violence in Rivers State
The Rising Power of Soboma George
Competition for Access to Illicit Government Patronage
The Human Rights Impact of Post-Election Gang Violence in Rivers State
Gang Warfare in Port Harcourt
Violence Erupts
Escalating Violence
A Climate of Fear
Box 2: Gang Terror in Ogbogoro
August: Chaos Takes Hold
Ateke Tom's Attack on the NNPC Filling Station
The Scale of Civilian Casualties in Port Harcourt
Residents Wounded in the Fighting
Fatalities
The Human Rights Impact of the Joint Task Force Intervention in Rivers State
JTF Operations Following the August Crisis
The Assault on Marine Base
The JTF's Failed Attack on Soboma George
JTF Efforts to Maintain Order in Port Harcourt
Human Rights Abuses Committed by JTF Forces in Port Harcourt
Unlawful Killings and Beatings
Arbitrary Detention and Extortion
Box 3: The JTF in Ogbogoro
Looking Forward: Government Inaction and the Risk of Further Violence
The Rivers State Government
Box 4: Sponsorship of Cult Violence in Bodo
Administration of Gov. Rotimi Amaechi
The Nigerian Police
The Federal Government
Conclusion
Annex: Partial Overview of Cults, Gangs, and "Militant Groups" in Rivers State
Supreme Vikings Confraternity (or "Vikings")
Icelanders/Niger Delta Vigilante
Deewell
Deebam..
Outlaws
Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force (NDPVF)
Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND)
Acknowledgments